Student Mother

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  • #54987 Report

    Timefortea
    Participant

    Hello!

    I have never posted before so eeek!
    So I have been a single Mother of one for 3 years (my child is 3) during that time I have been studying full time whilst working nights (just one shift a week), so I am now planning to start a Masters in Social Work (should I have passed my intial degree as I’m awaiting on results).

    I just wanted to connect with anyone starting studying wether MA or Bsc (preferably MA) just to discuss how we plan to cope financially! – Childcare is pricey and my child’s father is as good as bad broadband connection in terms of being involved enough to be supportive.

    I also want to take a moment to rant about UC I’m sure this has been done many times previously but it’s as though the system is set up to not allow people to grow, I have read that a percentage of any student loan I receive for my MA will be deducted and there is no maintenance with masters study, it’s so infuriating as I’m trying to grow and be better for my child and ultimately for myself as I don’t want to be reliant on a system.

    #55123 Report

    Hi Timefortea

    I’m Michell one of the Moderators here.  You may have read through this already, but there is some info here within the site for Single Parenting students.  You can find that via this link:

    Education – Gingerbread

    I hope that helps

    Kind regards

    Michelle

    #55224 Report

    picklepie24
    Participant

    I am currently working 30+ hrs a week and doing my MBA as an online part time course.  I get student grant and loan which comes to £16k over the two years, my course is only £5000 so I’m using re rest to fix my roof because quite honestly I’m 46 and the chances of me paying it back in full are pretty slim.  I’m not on universal credits though I get a bit of tax credits and I’m in wales and they like to give us extra cash.

    #55225 Report

    Timefortea
    Participant

    Thank you Michelle but I have read through mostly everything!.

    Picklepie24 I’m currently packing my bags and moving to Wales! Haha. Good on you for doing the MBA! Unfortunately in England it’s not the same with a masters you get a loan of 11,200 or so which you have to manage for course fees or whatever else and my course is literally 11,000 and of that I believe universal credit calculate a certain percentage of it (30% correct me if I’m wrong anyone) and deduct it as income from your “entitlement”. I’m 25 and my daughter is currently 3 so I feel like now is the best time to do it in my circumstances, I can’t work full time but I’m sure as hell going to try otherwise it’s going to be a stretch. because as we all know we can’t predict the future! -Thank you for your response

    #55233 Report

    BumbleeVee91
    Participant

    Evening Time for Tea!

    I am a single mother of a 4 year old and 3 year old and currently doing my masters in Social Work in Cardiff.

    My advice to use would be to find a benefits expert (through CAB etc) to go through the UC with you.
    My funding for the masters comes from Social Care Wales-in the form as a bursary might be worth checking if you have anything similar in England and I had to screenshot all evidence to this and attach it to my journal.
    It was a huge ordeal and had to go to a UC panel? So it was handy having the expert to advise me what evidence they needed etc.

    Good luck with the Masters. I can absolutely say it is ridiculously hard work with little ones and I hope you have a good support network around you as I think if I had this, half of my stress wouldn’t be there 🤣🤣

    #55235 Report

    Timefortea
    Participant

    I will have to go through the CAB route and see if I can get advice from them, thanks for that. -UC panel?! I have never heard of that, I absolutely hate UC I have been waiting forever for a reply from them updating them on a change of circumstances.

    Well I managed to complete three years of a degree with my daughter so I’m sure I will be able to get the Masters done through blood sweat and tears obviously! Haha

    Aside from having to balance the course with your personal life how are you finding it in general? Are you enjoying it? – I’m really looking forward to starting as I just want to start doing something I’m passionate about and being out of UC, I would think they would make things easier for people who are actively trying to make a difference to their lives by boosting their employment prospects instead of throwing hurdles.

    #55240 Report

    BumbleeVee91
    Participant

    Yeah UC caused weeks of stress tbf, I was being referred onto people in Bangor and no one could seem to understand my point that I wasn’t entitled to maintenance loans and my bursary was intended to pay my tuition fees but luckily I had found someone who specialised in benefit applications for further education to help me and gather the information (including wording of bursaries and all sorts, it seemed ridiculously pedantic)

    The course itself is great. We have a good mix of students straight from undergrad and students coming back after lengthy work careers so everyone gets up skilled across the board with education and experience. We were online for the academic side this year, which was so convenient with the children, but because there’s only 30 of us on the course, from September it will be in person which will be nice to finally meet everyone properly! Naturally its hard work with the academic side and 2 full time placements (they merged the 20 and 80 days in my uni this year cos of covid), but at the same time it’s super enjoyable and really manageable and its been so nice after being stuck in online for a couple of months to be back working direct with people since January!

    I can say as well that since starting the course, my outlook on the area I want to work in has changed too. I was set on working with adults with mental health and substance misuse issues but my current placement is with children and families and I’ve now based my dissertation on this!

    My experience with Cardiff has been fantastic too. I have no family or support and absolute minimal off my children’s dad and my son has been referred for Autism and Sensory  Processing Disorder so has weekly appointments and they have done so much to support me through the masters. I get extra time to hand in assignments and there’s no pressure to complete my placements by a certain date, I am allowed to add the days on missed so I can attend my sons appointments.

    I really hope you find some kind of bursary to help with your fees etc. The country is crying out for Social Workers so not sure why there is so many financial blocks in place. I forgot to mention too that Social Care Wales pay for the majority of my childcare too (it’s capped at a limit of 15 grand for the year but this only covered 3 days each for my 2 so they agreed to pay the extra day too) so I hope you can find something similar! Do you have a Social Care England (sorry if that sounds really dull) or do they have a section of NHS bursaries for Social Work?

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